Tuesday, October 11, 2016


The  August moon, beautiful but a bit melancholy.  Summer is passing too quickly.

Plants know this too.  They flower and set seed for the future.

Cats don't do much of anything besides growing slightly thicker coats...

....and finding comfortable places to sleep.

Sisters and cousins....

Alina's family came over for a farewell picnic before Jonathan and Alina headed out to Finland.

Our old friends Bob and Cindy Harder stopped over for a wonderful evening of reminiscing and sharing.

Life goes on and our children have all grown up, but inside we're still those young kids that got to know each way back when.  We need to do this more often, Bob and Cindy.

Jonathan and Alina loading up for Finland.

Gwen volunteered to drive them to the Twin Cities to catch their flight.  Thank you, Gwen!

Dang!  We just got to know Alina last Christmas and now Jonathan has hauled her halfway across the world!  I guess I'm partly to blame.  Forty years earlier, in the month of August,  I headed off for Finland to go to school at the University of Helsinki.  During that year I met Marja, and the rest is history.

But guess what, just when the kids up and leave us for Finland, we get to meet our newest granddaughter.

Life is sweet.

Life is good.

Fathers and sons.

Summer Days

My old kindergarten classmate Paul brought his mother Elanor to join us for a 4th of July picnic.

This little girl knows how to pull hair!

Generations connect.

Our neighbors came over to pick strawberries.

Many hands make the work easy.

Sam and Amanda making freezer jam.  Mash the berries, mix in sugar, pour into bottles.  No boiling needed.

A couple of smallmouth bass from our pond.

Preparing wool for washing.  The locks must be pulled apart and any straw or debris removed.  Afterwards you stuff the fleece in a mesh bag and soak it in hot soapy water.  You can't agitate it or it will felt.


Splitting Firewood.  As beautiful as Copper Country summers are, much time is spent getting ready for next winter.

July Moon

Corn should be knee high by the fourth of July.

Alina and Jonathan heading out for a ride.

Misty mornings...


Why work when you can lay in the sun?

In my early teens I picked berries for one of the local growers and got paid 7 cents a quart.  The work was hard and hot.  We had to get up at 5 in the morning and were on the field around 6.  The heavy dew on the plants was cold on the fingers and the mosquitos were biting.  By 9 the plants the sun had dried the plants.  By 10 it was hot.  Sometimes we picked until one or two o-clock.  The most I ever picked in a day was 93 quarts.  Sometimes I wonder why I still like to pick strawberries, but I love it.  Strawberries are Summer!

A swarm of bees that changed its mind and went back to the hive.

Roll out those lazy, hazy days of summer.....

Grandpa and Laku

A swarm of honeybees landing on a branch.  A big swarm makes quite a hum, almost a roar when they are all in the air. 

Everybody loves a hammock.

No, this really isn't dangerous.  The bees are not defending a hive.  Swarming is the way bees propagate to form a new colony.  Once a hive becomes crowded, the swarming instinct kicks in.   First the queen and about half the colony leave the hive and land in a nearby tree, forming a large mass.  Scouts fly out from the swarm  and search for a suitable new home, usually a hollow tree.  This particular swarm would have been the perfect  to capture.  All I needed to do was cut off the branch and shake the bees into a new hive, but I didn't act fast enough.  After this picture was taken I went back inside for coffee and strawberry shortcake, assuming that the swarm would stay in place for hours, as they usually do.  But by the time I had my protective gear on and my hive boxes in place, and was getting ready to cut the branch, the swarm dissolved and a hurricane of bees headed off into the woods.  I could have cried.